Mom of missing Tempe baby refuses to leave cell to go to court

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by Alicia E. Barrón

azfamily.com

Posted on March 9, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 9 at 9:15 PM

PHOENIX – There is a new twist in the ongoing investigation into missing Baby Gabriel.

The boy's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, had a court date on Tuesday but she refused to go.

According to a source inside the sheriff's department, she simply did not want to go. 3TV asked the sheriff's department if people can just refuse to go to court and they said they are not commenting on that.

Elizabeth would not leave her cell Tuesday morning for her scheduled pre-trial hearing.

The judge is expecting the 23-year-old to show up for her next court date.

Judge Timothy Ryan said, “I'm gonna request that the sheriff's office use any means necessary to obtain Ms. Johnson here for the next scheduled court date."

So what can the sheriff's office do to make sure someone makes their court appearance? In 1988, naked and bruised, accused killer Robert Comer was handcuffed and dragged to court in a wheelchair.

Johnson faces charges of custodial interference, kidnapping, and child abuse.

After losing a custody battle with Gabriel's father, Johnson took off to Florida. She tells police on her way there she stopped in San Antonio, Texas and gave the baby to an unknown couple she met in a park.

However, before she was arrested she supposedly told the boy's father she suffocated the baby and threw him in the trash.

The pre-trial hearing was pushed back to Wednesday, March 17.

 

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